Capitals draw 14,485 for Game 2 watch party of Stanley Cup Final

Tom Wilson laid out Vegas Jonathan Marchessault with a huge late hit

Tom Wilson laid out Vegas Jonathan Marchessault with a huge late hit

Not after the Capitals withstood three games without Nicklas Backstrom.

The Washington Capitals are clinging to a 3-2 lead against the Vegas Golden Knights late in the third period in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

After killing off a penalty early in the second period, Washington pushed ahead on a power play of its own at 5:38 when Ovechkin scored his 13th goal of the playoffs from a tight angle thanks to Eller's slick cross-ice pass.

"We did a good job all around on a lot of areas", Trotz said. "It's hard to replace Kuznetsov the way he's been playing, but if that's the case it is what it is and we just have to have other guys step up".

The Capitals have Thursday off coach Barry Trotz said in a conference call Thursday Kuznetsov is day to day with an upper-body injury. The team practices again Friday. It didn't look good either.

Alex Ovechkin, like all of us, could not believe it either.

Washington and Vegas combined to score at least two goals in each period of the opener and in the first and second periods of Game 2.

Backstrom is the obvious, and quite good, plan to automatically be bumped into a more prominent role if Kuznetsov is unable to play (or is at all limited) in Game 3 Saturday night. "I think he embraces the challenge".

Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals, while Andre Burakovsky added two assists.

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Washington's Jakub Vrana nearly restored the two-score lead late in the second period, but hit the right post much to the delight of Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

It's the kind of production Vegas is looking for from its top line of Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith.

"He's an athlete who takes care of himself", said the coach. It's going to be fun, it's going to be interesting, it's going to be hard.

There also were big hits, some which might have lingering effects Wednesday night. You're not going to be at your best every night.

"I don't think we've played our best hockey", Gallant said.

Gallant tipped his hat to the Capitals, saying they deserved to win Game 2 based on how they performed after losing Kuznetsov. "The Knights, in my mind, really put the exclamation point that we're the sports capital of the world, not only what they've done on the ice in this historic season but how they brought the community together".

"Fun", said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, whose most recent playoff start in D.C. was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals for Pittsburgh last spring.

Rolling with the punches has become somewhat of the Capitals' identity this season and into the playoffs.

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